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Idea for a AS review - Topping, Matrix, ProJect...

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3 minutes ago, asdf1000 said:

 

And what do these have as an ADC? Something that matters to us, when we listen to recordings?

 

I don't know why they mention ESS DAC, but no word about ADC - the thing that matters the most for pro-audio?

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Just now, Miska said:

 

And what do these have as an ADC? Something that matters to us, when we listen to recordings?

 

 

My original quote to you was "AKM chips are very popular in pro-audio area "

 

I was just saying ESS DAC chips are popular in pro-audio too...

 

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Just now, asdf1000 said:

My original quote to you was "AKM chips are very popular in pro-audio area "

 

I was just saying ESS DAC chips are popular in pro-audio too...

 

When I'm talking about pro-audio, I'm not talking about just DAC, but both ADC + DAC. In most cases these are from the same company. And not just recent years, but from the days since early 90's. If you go back and look what chips have been used the most on both ADC and DAC over the past 30 years, I'd say AKM leads and TI + Cirrus Logic being not too far behind. Everything else is niche.

 

While Wolfson has been more popular on mobile devices and such.

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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3 minutes ago, asdf1000 said:

On ADCs, this is a Grammy winning Mastering Engineering.

 

http://www.arfproductions.com/about/

 

He uses Ayre ADC.

 

He is not 'pro-audio'?

 

Sure, and 2L has used for example DDK converters which are TI. And now Merging.

 

But that's niche. Look at what Avid ProTools stuff uses and that's a little bit more of the market. How many percents of Tidal or Spotify catalog is made with Ayre ADC? I bet less than 0.1%.

 

And Ayre ADC is NOT ESS.

 

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Just now, Miska said:

 

Sure, and 2L has used for example DDK converters which are TI. And now Merging.

 

But that's niche. Look at what Avid ProTools stuff uses and that's a little bit more of the market. How many percents of Tidal or Spotify catalog is made with Ayre ADC? I bet less than 0.1%.

 

 

Understood. But I think 'pro audio' gets thrown around too loosely sometimes.

 

There are guys on Gearslutz forum using Pro-Ject Pre-Box S2 DAC saying it performs as well as state of the art high priced DACs and is reliable for them.

 

So one may say Pro-Ject is not 'pro audio' but if its getting used in music making..

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, asdf1000 said:

Understood. But I think 'pro audio' gets thrown around too loosely sometimes.

 

There are guys on Gearslutz forum using Pro-Ject Pre-Box S2 DAC saying it performs as well as state of the art high priced DACs and is reliable for them.

 

So one may say Pro-Ject is not 'pro audio' but if its getting used in music making..

 

Sure, but I'm talking about what is used in volumes. I mean percentage of today's digital music catalog in total.

 

Btw, to me these look like AKM based:

https://merging.com/products/interfaces/specifications#a-k-d8-d-a-k-d8-d-p-option-card

 

942541450_OperaSnapshot_2019-10-05_020915_merging_com.thumb.png.7f68ad00a15896d1d1bc4e1f12f0c7fc.png


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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19 minutes ago, Miska said:

They used to have, but obviously they abandoned it, or went underground. ES9102/ES9112 or something like that. Sabre ADC.

https://pdf1.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/view/485880/ESS/ES9102.html

 

But I don't remember seeing actual products around those. Ayre used now unavailable chip model from a now defunct company and I think Merging used the same for a while.

The evolution of the ESS lineup is mildly interesting. Starting out in generic PC audio, they meandered considerably with products as diverse as modems and DVD processors. Eventually, they settled on audiophile DACs and a few supporting chips. Presumably, the profit margins were best there.

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9 minutes ago, mansr said:

The evolution of the ESS lineup is mildly interesting. Starting out in generic PC audio, they meandered considerably with products as diverse as modems and DVD processors. Eventually, they settled on audiophile DACs and a few supporting chips. Presumably, the profit margins were best there.

 

Yes, and I have vague memory of them having CODECs (ADC+DAC) in the PC audio market in 90's. But they are not particularly public about their products in general, so it is not so easy to figure out.

 

AKM also used to be hard to obtain, but they have since luckily changed their approach and are now just as available as TI and  CirrusLogic (incl Wolfson).

 

Now there are some strange beasts out there, like Realtek and Rohm. Of which Rohm actually had an interesting demo in Munich two years ago of their new DAC chip. But I have not seen or heard much about it since. I cannot find that chip now on their web pages. But I still have their brochures about it (and I have seen/heard it in live action).

 


Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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On 10/4/2019 at 4:10 PM, guiltyboxswapper said:

Goes to show how little "thd+n" can tell you about a DAC in reality.  D70 measures up well too.  I don't believe its a feature of the AKM DACs themselves either (lack of dynamics) as I've heard superb AK4490 implementations that don't lack there.

 

I have been checking alternatives and, while researching the Gustard A20H (also AK4497 x 2) , ran across a user at ASR that tried a D70 and compared directly to the Gustard A20H, his comments regarding the D70 were "The lack of punch was obvious compared to the A20H.."

 

So, as you mentioned, this AK chip is looking promising. I need figure out how to dump the D70 without the SO catching on.. good thing it is dual voltage, makes for a bigger market ...😀

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